UNESCO will launch the first-ever web platform dedicated to World Heritage and sustainable travel. Supported by the European Union, the platform features 34 selected World Heritage sites spread across 19 European Union countries, and it has been developed in collaboration with National Geographic.

The launch will take place when UNESCO Paris Headquarters opens its doors to the public for the European Heritage Days event on 15 September. World Heritage Journeys is co-funded by the European Union and promotes sustainable travel to some of the most remarkable World Heritage sites in Europe. It encourages people to travel beyond the major tourist hubs, staying longer and experiencing more of what the local region has to offer.  This initiative is part of a new alliance formed between UNESCO and National Geographic.

“Our goal is to change how people travel. Staying longer in destinations, experiencing the local culture and its environment, and gaining a deeper knowledge and appreciation of World Heritage values,” said Mechtild Rössler, Director of the World Heritage Centre at UNESCO.

World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by the UNESCO. The sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. As of June 2020, a total of 1,121 World Heritage Sites exist across 167 countries.

World Heritage Journeys invites travelers to travel along four cultural heritage itineraries—Royal Europe(link is external), Ancient Europe(link is external), Romantic Europe(link is external) and Underground Europe(link is external)—which intertwine to tell fascinating stories of Europe's heritage and history. The website has practical information and tools to support travelers in planning their European holidays based on local knowledge about the destinations’ cultural heritage.

“In addition to reaching travelers directly, we hope that the travel industry—including tour operators, travel agents, and local and national tourism authorities—will be inspired by the content we have curated, and will develop and promote authentic tourism that aligns with the goals of the project and reflects the outstanding universal value of World Heritage,” added Ms. Rossler.

World Heritage Journeys will also play a key role in attracting Chinese visitors to Europe for the 2018 EU/China Tourism Year, an initiative led by the European Commission and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China in collaboration with the European Travel Commission (ETC). The website is available in English, Chinese and French. The platform also contributes to the goals of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.

“This project is a great example of how National Geographic ignites the explorer in all of us looking to explore the farthest reaches of the Earth and beyond. It seeks to contribute to the economic health of the communities in and around the World Heritage sites, and guide tourists to unique cultural attractions and experiences, as recommended by local experts,” said Frank Biasi, Director of digital development and travel programs at National Geographic Maps. “With this local knowledge, the website encourages travelers from North America, China and other major tourism markets to travel differently and travel deeper, and use the platform to inspire and plan their European trips.”


Participating World Heritage sites:

  1. 18th-Century Royal Palace at Caserta with the Park, the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, and the San Leucio Complex (Italy) click here(link is external)
  2. Ancient City of Nessebar (Bulgaria) click here(link is external)
  3. Aranjuez Cultural Landscape (Spain) click here(link is external)
  4. Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia (Italy) click here(link is external)
  5. Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco (Spain) click here(link is external)
  6. Archaeological Site of Olympia (Greece) click here(link is external)
  7. Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars (France) click here(link is external)
  8. Cultural Landscape of Sintra (Portugal) click here(link is external)
  9. Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž (Czech Republic) click here(link is external)
  10. Historic Centre of Brugge (Belgium) click here(link is external)
  11. Historic Centre of San Gimignano (Italy) click here(link is external)
  12. Historic Town of Banská Štiavnica and the Technical Monuments in its Vicinity (Slovakia) click here(link is external)
  13. Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (Czech Republic) click here(link is external)
  14. Major Mining Sites of Wallonia (Belgium) click here(link is external)
  15. Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System  (Germany) click here(link is external)
  16. Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun (Sweden) click here(link is external)
  17. Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay (France) click here(link is external)
  18. Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin (France) click here(link is external)
  19. Palace and Park of Versailles (France) click here(link is external)
  20. Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin (Germany) click here(link is external)
  21. Pafos (Cyprus) click here(link is external)
  22. Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct) (France) click here(link is external)
  23. Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier (Germany) click here(link is external)
  24. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (United Kingdom) click here(link is external)
  25. Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus (Greece) click here(link is external)
  26. Stari Grad Plain (Croatia) click here(link is external)
  27. The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand (Denmark) click here(link is external)
  28. Royal Domain of Drottningholm (Sweden) click here(link is external)
  29. Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape (Hungary) click here(link is external)
  30. Upper Middle Rhine Valley (Germany) click here(link is external)
  31. Vilnius Historic Centre (Lithuania) click here(link is external)
  32. Wachau Cultural Landscape (Austria) click here(link is external)
  33. Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines (Poland) click here(link is external)
  34. Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen(link is external) (Germany) click here(link is external)


From: World Heritage Journeys: www.visiteuworldheritage.com(link is external)


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